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Best-of-Breed vs. Full Suite: Which is Superior for DAM?

Nuala Cronin avatar

Nuala Cronin

Content Manager

4 min read

Best-of-Breed vs. Full Suite: Which is Superior for DAM?

Implementing a digital asset management (DAM) system is vital for organizations that handle large volumes of digital assets.

The growing need for content creations and distribution across multiple channels means that organization and centralization of, and secure access to digital assets is crucial.

As the need for DAM grows and the market matures, the array of available DAM system options can be difficult to keep up with.

Organizations that are comparing DAM systems must make one very important distinction: do they need a full suite DAM or a best-of-breed (BoB) DAM?

In this post, we explain:

  • What is a Best-of-Breed DAM?
  • What is a Full-Suite DAM?
  • Why is a Best-of-Breed DAM the superior choice?

Let's delve deeper to understand the differences, the most important considerations, and help you decide which DAM might be the best fit for your organization.

If you're already sure you want a pure-play DAM, check out the best DAM options on the market with a free copy of the G2 DAM Comparison Guide.

What is a pure-play or best-of-breed DAM?

A pure-play or best-of-breed (BoB) DAM is a system that specializes exclusively in digital asset management. It is tailor-made for this function, ensuring that every feature and function is designed with asset management in mind. MediaValet is a prime example of a pure-play DAM. Such systems are often regarded as having higher specialization, offering a comprehensive set of features that cater specifically to the needs of DAM.

Key Features of a BoB DAM:

MediaValet Artificial Intelligence Screenshot

What is a full-suite DAM platform?

A full-suite DAM platform, such as Adobe, is a comprehensive system that offers digital asset management as one of its many integrated modules. Unlike a pure-play DAM, a full-suite system provides a range of tools and functionalities beyond just asset management, often developing tools like content management, design software, analytics, and more.

Key Features of a Full Suite DAM:

  • Integrated solutions for various digital tasks.
  • One platform for multiple operations, from designing to asset management.
  • Consistent user interface across various modules.
  • Offers the convenience of a single-vendor relationship.

Why is a best-of-breed DAM a superior choice?

There are several reasons why many industry experts view a best-of-breed DAM as a superior choice. There are many reasons a pure-play DAM is a better choice for organizations looking to implement a digital asset management system.

A critical point brought up by Gartner is the risk associated with full-suite platforms. Gartner mentions:

“Although platform vendors offer numerous enterprise applications and claim that their integrated system is a superior solution, all modules in a platform system are rarely best-of-breed [and also not best-in-class]."

But it's not just capabilities, there are other downsides that might not seem apparent upfront.

"These [full-suite] platforms often require long-term contracts, which compounds the ultimate cost to your organization to use these tools, and require you to change the way you work in order to get the value from the platform... Finally, you run the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket, creating an often-overlooked continuity risk.”

This points out that while integrated systems might seem appealing, they often present hidden costs, slower adaptation rates, and potential continuity risks that can adversely affect businesses in the long run.

Best-of-breed DAMs offer users long-term benefits and the option to pick and choose the features that work for them.

1. Depth Over Breadth:

A BoB DAM like MediaValet focuses entirely on delivering the best digital asset management system. This concentration ensures that all resources and research go into creating a cutting-edge DAM, often resulting in a product that outpaces full-suite platforms in terms of functionality and efficiency.

2. Rapid Evolution and Adaptability:

A key benefit of digital asset management systems that are best-of-breed is their ability to quickly adapt. Their specialized nature often allows them to implement new technologies, such as AI, faster than broader platforms.

3. Flexibility and Scalability:

With a best-of-breed cloud-based digital asset management system, organizations can often tailor the system more effectively to their specific needs. This ensures that as a business grows, the DAM can grow and adapt with them.

Choosing the right solution for you

Choosing between a full-suite DAM and a best-of-breed DAM boils down to the specific needs of an organization. If a business is looking for a platform offering multiple functionalities under one roof, a full-suite DAM might be suitable. However, for those seeking something more specialized, adaptable, and scalable, a best-of-breed DAM, like MediaValet, is often the superior choice. Whatever the choice, understanding the benefits and potential drawbacks of each is crucial to making an informed decision.

Interested in moving forward with a best-of-breed DAM? Download our free guide: How to Buy a DAM, and implement the right DAM for your organization in just 7 steps.

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